The Tumbling Tumbleweed

I was reading my year 2 report card from 1972 yesterday. As you do. And I was pretty pissed off at my P.E. comments. Because I was a very sporty girl. Running was my main thing but I also played softball and netball and loved all sporty type things. And I know I probably wasn’t playing a lot of competitive sport when I was in second class but I must have done a lot of good things. So I’m cranky that when it came time to write a comment on my report the teacher has chosen to pick on my lack of tumbling skills. My fear of tumbling.

a fear of tumbling

Because that’s what it was. I was terrified of tumbling. And I’m surprised there weren’t a great number of children with broken necks back then from all that stupid tumbling. Because the idiots making you do it didn’t really care if you were doing it right or wrong. Especially backwards tumbling. In fact I bet that’s when all my stiff neck problems began.

I never saw the point of lining up a long line of thin blue plastic mats and making children do endless somersaults down it forwards then back again backwards. It was pretty funny to watch though. There weren’t many kids that were good at it. Most people did these sort of awkward painful looking rolls that always veered off to the side until they went off the mat.

I was scared of all the gymnastics equipment. Those uneven bars gave me nightmares. There was no way I was getting on them. And that box thing. A vault thing. It’s probably a horse something. You jumped on a springboard then did some trickery and landed on the other side. The only time I used that I hit the springboard too hard and my fingers just brushed the edge of the box as I flew straight over the other side. It was extremely humiliating I might add.

Hopefully there are all kinds of safety and public liability rules these days that have put an end to school P.E. gymnastics. I think I even chipped a tooth that day.

I also found my maths report. All I can say about that is that it still all remains a “mystery”. My son is a maths freak. He told me once that the world would be a batter place if it was a maths world. I can’t even imagine what that would involve. Lots of right angles I suppose. I don’t think I’d last long.

the mystery of maths

The reason I was reading my reports is because I found them in this clearing out clutter programme I’m on. And I threw them in the bin. And I’d just like to point out that I don’t feel free or liberated in any way. I actually feel like going out and searching for them in the bin and putting them back in the box.

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18 thoughts on “The Tumbling Tumbleweed

  1. we didn’t get much gymnastics in school but I loved what we got, EXCEPT the time in summer school – must have been around 3rd grade – when some male teacher made us do backward tumbles and i was wearing a shirt with a zipper down the back. the zipper got ground into my spine and i cried in pain. the exercise was video taped and he made me watch it again and again, reliving the horror. total a-hole. i still can’t do a backward tumble correctly.

    • See, there are probably millions of children out there with a tumbling terror tale.
      What a bastard. What was he hoping you were going to learn by watching it over and over anyway. To only wear buttons up the front?

  2. Some things should be kept, others not. It’s up to you to figure that one out. I know I don’t keep anything of mine school related. Just have no ties to any of it.

  3. After gymnastics became all the rage for little girls in the US, some medical researcher discovered that the way gymnastics/tumbling was taught in many schools was responsible for causing spinal and cervical disc (neck) injury in children. This—and several lawsuits—changed gymnastics education in this country; but I still have a dent in the back of the head from rolling into a concrete post. (Teacher wasn’t paying attention, and she later told my parents it was my fault for not listening to her instructions.)

    When I found my old report cards, I read the comments, laughed, and shredded them to put in recycling. I enjoy knowing I’m nothing like what my teachers predicted I would become. (Inattentive, “dizzy,” refuses to follow instructions, will not participate in group activities, etc. All I remember is that I was bored to tears in class and thought school was a waste of time.)

    • I’m not surprised at all. I don’t thing they do it here in Australia anymore. My kids never did anyway. Their school probably couldn’t afford the equipment though. And it’s hardly like they were going to dig out any world champions. I think we had our very first one ever today. It’s not a popular sport here.

      Dizzy – thats a terrible thing to put on a kids report.

  4. Uuhh, those parallel bars and that balance thingy… a nightmare.
    The vaulting horse I learned to manage actually because of a male teacher who seemed to have endless faith in me. Because I remember several moments when he just wouldn’t let it go and made me do things over and over until I found the courage to just leave caution behind and go for it.
    And with the vaulting horse…., there were always classmates as support but I just wouldn’t trust them. This teacher then asked me, “would you do it if I’ll be there to get you if things go wrong?”. I guess I did some nodding of some sort. So he went behind that horse and I just ran, jumped and flew over that thing. Landing safely on the other side. It was exhilarating. After that I jumped every time without a problem and without any support.

    • Lol, I’d forgotten about the balance thingy. Another form of torture.

      Our teacher just screamed her head off all the time and scared the crap out of me even more.

  5. Baffled by math and afraid of tumbling? What’s a girl to do? PE class was always my least favorite. All that sweating…

    It is interesting to see what we become in spite of the opinions of grownups, isn’t it?

  6. My girls enjoyed gymnastics when they were younger but we eventually stopped because of the cost of traveling to the meets. I am glad we stopped because my 15 year old had to have surgery on both knees for a condition that was inherited but she would have had to stop gymnastics at that time anyway.

    One thing about the tumbling. When my 16-year-old was doing “movement therapy” for her learning challenges (when she was much younger), one of the things they had her do was frontward and backward somersaults and head stands. I have no idea why that helped but it was in the movements that she needed to do. I found it interesting that she had trouble moving from side to side, that had something to do with the part of her brain that had trouble making the connection in learning. The movement therapy had amazing results. That is just an aside. I can certainly understand being afraid to do things like that!

    I have kept some of my old report cards and I do save a little bit of school work that my children do each year. Of course, I save the best things 🙂

    • I have photo albums for each of my kids and put awards and things like that in them. They were suppsoed to take them with them when they moved but they want me to keep all their stuff here. I’ve also kept their kindy daily diaries that they wrote at school which are funny to get out and read.

  7. “I actually feel like going out and searching for them in the bin and putting them back in the box. ”

    LOL. A few months back, my father found a note book I scribbled in when I was, maybe 3 years old. In tatters and dog ears. I held on to it for sometime, but suddenly realised that I had spent 34 years without seeing it, so it shouldn’t matter that much and trashed it. Yeah, I felt like that too.

    • That was a harsh move on your part I must say. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve kept. It seems harmless enough sitting up in the pantry in a box. Why not just let it stay there. I only made the rash decision to throw away my reports because I found them In a photo album I was looking through. I guess I put them in there to press them flat. So I just went crazy and threw them out. I won’t be so hasty again let me assure you. When I was 9 I had my appendix out and everyone in the class had to write me a get well letter and tell me what they were doing at school – I still have all of them as well. No idea why. It just seems silly to suddenly throw them out now after having kept them for so long.

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